Vulgate questions


In the Vulgate, are lectio, meditatio, oratio and contemplatio used?

What Greek or Hebrew words did they translate?



Here is a good resource for seeking out specific Latin words in the Clementine Vulgate:

You can then cross reference the verses you find with the Septuagint (, the Hebrew Bible (, and the Greek New Testament (

Note that for variants in the manuscript traditions and other academic interests, the Internet is not great.


Lectio: Acts 13:15; 2Cor 3:14; 1Tim 4:13 Heb (N/A) Gk. anagnosis

Meditatio: Ps 18:15; 38:4; 48:4; 54:3; 118:97,99; Eccl 12:12; Wis 7:18; Lam 3:62; Heb. higgayon; sichah; Gk. meletE

Oratio: Over 150 times. Heb. tefillah; Gk. deEsis

Contemplatio: Only Gen 30:41; mistranslation of Heb. maqqel.


Not sure in what context you mean…but the Latin terms you list are certainly somewhere in the Vulgate…check a good interline bible…lectionary = to read; meditation = to meditate; oration = to speak, i.e. to pray; and contemplatio = to contemplate.

So, again, those words almost certainly appear in the Vulgate.


Here are some searchable files that might help:



Dear All:




I owe you a great deal!


Just a little more help and guidance.

If one wanted to use more biblical words for Lectio Divina, which English words would you suggest.



Sacred reading





I asked the question poorly.

What words might be more accurate in for each step: lectio, etc.
I agree, sacred reading is excellent.



You’re welcome :slight_smile:
What’s wrong with a simple translation?
lectio = read
meditatio = meditate
oratio = pray
contemplatio = contemplate

Or, from the official lectio divina website,
reading, reflection, response, rest


Nothing, nothing at all.

Contemplate is a tough one for me.

I like to gaze, but that might have a physical connotation.

Meditate has always challenged me too.

I guess I am contemplative and meditatively challenged.

If they are solid translations of the biblical word–then I like them the best.


Another way to describe Lectio Divina is “pondering sacred Scripture” :

“Pondering sacred Scripture was the way the early monks, the desert fathers and mothers, in fact, the people of the Bible, prayed.” Lectio Divina, p.7


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